Dry dams raise fear of cholera outbreak

PRIORITY ISSUE: Water needs to be sourced from the Nandoni Dam to ease the water shortages in several Limpopo municipalities. Pic. Tebogo Letsie. 25/11/2008. © Unknown.
PRIORITY ISSUE: Water needs to be sourced from the Nandoni Dam to ease the water shortages in several Limpopo municipalities. Pic. Tebogo Letsie. 25/11/2008. © Unknown.

FEARS are mounting that several municipalities in Limpopo who are experiencing a water shortage, could face a cholera outbreak that will affect more than 800000 residents.

FEARS are mounting that several municipalities in Limpopo who are experiencing a water shortage, could face a cholera outbreak that will affect more than 800000 residents.

Chief director for water affairs Alson Matukane said yesterday that "prompt measures" were needed to be put in place in the Mopani and Vhembe districts to contain a possible outbreak of cholera.

Matukane said the affected five municipalities that were hard hit by water shortage are Giyani, Thulamela, Makhado, Letaba and Blouberg.

Mopani's municipal officials were recently spotted using the bush near their municipal buildings and the town of Giyani to relieve themselves.

Matukane condemned their behaviour, saying it promoted waterborne diseases such as cholera, diarrhoea and bilharzia.

He said the shortage of water was caused by low levels of water in two nearby dams - the Middle Letaba Dam and the Nsami Dam.

"We have decided to turn off the supply of water to communities every evening until the situation is addressed so that everyone can share the little (water) available in our dams."

Communities in the area were now getting water from tanks delivered in trucks, he said.

The government needed to provide the necessary cash to draw water from Nandoni dam - near Thohoyandou - to ease the plight of the affected communities, Matukane said.

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